Yoga Postures for Weight Loss

8 Poses That Will Help Slim You Down

Yoga postures for weight loss can boost your metabolism and help you shed those stubborn, unwanted pounds. Yes, yoga provides results that reach far beyond stretching and stress relief. 

If you aren't including at least a few poses in your exercise routine, you are truly missing out on some amazing benefits.

Evidence has shown that the more physically challenging styles such as Vinyasa (flow yoga), Bikram (hot yoga), or Power yoga can improve heart health, fight cellulite, burn calories and tone your entire body.

Plus, it is great for inch loss, detoxification, and posture. Imagine getting all these benefits while protecting your joints and putting less stress on your body than some other forms of exercise such as running or plyometrics.

Burning Calories in Yoga Class

The number of calories you burn in a yoga class can vary quite a bit. In a beginner type class you will burn about 175 calories in an hour. 

The more intense classes will have you burning 450 calories. The super intense "hot" yoga class can turn it up to 650 calories.

To help put this in perspective, if you go out and jog for one hour you will burn roughly 400-450 calories.

To lose weight by including yoga or some other regular exercise plan into your daily life, you will still need to consume fewer calories than you burn through your day. To estimate how many calories you burn in a day you need to calculate your "Resting Metabolic Rate" (RMR). 

RMR = bodyweight (pounds) x 13

You can then add your RMR  to the number of calories you burn in yoga class. By keeping the number of calories you consume daily under that number, you should see some weekly weight loss.

Yoga Postures For Weight Loss

animated yoga picture

Cobra: This posture strengthens the chest and back while also firming the buttocks and toning the abdominal muscles. Stretching and opening the chest also allows for deep breathing which improves circulation and increases fat burning.

Bow Pose: Tone your arms, legs and abs all at the same time, while also burning calories and melting away fat.

Warrior Pose:  Is one of the most popular and effective yoga postures for weight loss. Warrior will tone and strengthen the abs, thighs, hamstrings, ankles, and will also stimulate the abdominal organs so they function more effectively. When your body works properly, your metabolism will be less sluggish and you will be able to lose weight faster.

warrior yoga postures for weight lossTaylor Demonstrating the Warrior ll Pose

Downward Dog: This is another very popular yoga pose and can be modified to work virtually every part of your body. While the basic pose is very effective, you can make it even more challenging by adding a split and crunch.

Lift your right leg and hip into the air, then move your torso into plank position and pull your right knee toward your right elbow. Return to starting position and repeat with the left side. For even greater benefits, shift into an upward dog position after completing the downward dog split and crunch.

Planks: The plank has gained a lot of popularity and now shows up in almost every type of workout program; however, this amazing exercise has its roots in yoga. Everyone from dancers to weight lifters use some form of this pose to tone their abs, chest, back, legs, and arms.

The plank also improves circulation, respiration, and balance. Once you have mastered the basic posture, increase the challenge by moving into a side plank.

Side Bends: Most yoga styles include a lot of side bend postures because these poses strengthen abs, hip, and thigh muscles while also improving posture, flexibility, and digestion. And, side bends or stretches are also great for melting away those muffin tops and love handles.

LocustThis pose is a great way to stretch the spine and improve posture. It is a good addition to any weight loss routine since it works the triceps, legs, buttocks, and abdominal muscles. The Locust also improves the functioning of abdominal organs which will help detoxify your body and reduce bloating and puffiness.

Triangle: This is another pose that focuses on the core and legs, particularly the obliques, hips, and lower back. If you want to trim your waist and get rid of those love handles, then you should include the triangle in your workout regime.

Tips For Best Results:

  • Choose your poses so you can shift from one posture into the next smoothly. By sequencing your routines to create a continuous flow, you will get a more intense workout that will burn more calories and tone your muscles more effectively. If you are a beginner at yoga, don't jump right into the more difficult and challenging poses.
  • Make sure to perform all postures correctly. If you don't learn the poses correctly you will not gain good posture and other benefits. A good idea is to practice in front of a mirror by yourself and make any necessary adjustments.

  • For optimal results, you should practice yoga on a regular basis, at least 2-3 times a week. If you only yoga once a week it can feel like you are starting over every time.

  • Follow a healthy diet and lifestyle. While yoga is a great weight loss tool, best results are achieved when it is combined with wise eating and lifestyle choices. 

yoga meditation pose

Getting Fit with Yoga

If practiced correctly and regularly, yoga can lower levels of stress hormones (which often lead to fat storage), build muscle (which increases fat burning), firm flabby areas, and help you look and feel younger! Add a few of these yoga postures for weight into your workout routine 3-4 times a week and watch the inches melt away.

In the last several years, various styles of yoga have gained popularity and everyone from Hollywood stars to personal trainers are realizing that yoga provides many benefits beyond stress relief such as weight loss, improved posture, muscle building, and increased stamina.

If you want to feel more relaxed, look younger, burn fat, and build a strong, lean body, then yoga postures for weight loss could be the perfect solution. All you need is a mat (or soft carpeted area) and you can begin your journey to a better body today!

Other pages that might interest you:

I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or if you have any ideas you want to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum.

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